The essence of ‘la dolce vita' is explored through the cuisine, art and landscapes of Italy, from its iconic cities and turquoise lakes to its balmy southern shores.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like… being welcomed to the magnificent 12th century Castello del Trebbio in the Tuscan Hills by the Baj-Macario family, and joining them in the great hall for a delicious meal of traditional Tuscan cuisine.
Cross the plains of Lombardy, the forested Apennine Mountains, and pass by Genoa on the way to Pisa. View the extraordinary Leaning Tower before arriving in Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance. Tonight you might like to take the opportunity to enjoy dinner and a night out in the Tuscan Hills.
Set in scenic Tuscan countryside, visit the medieval town of Siena, famous for its exciting Palio horse race. This evening in Rome join your Travel Director and new friends for a Farewell Dinner.
12 nights' accommodations, 12 hot buffet breakfasts, 7 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||AvailabilityPrice|
|14 Dec 16||27 Dec 16||$2,850pp|
|21 Dec 16||3 Jan 17||$2,995pp|
|28 Dec 16||10 Jan 17||$2,950pp|
|30 Dec 16||12 Jan 17||$2,950pp||
|6 Jan 17||19 Jan 17||$2,725pp||
|27 Jan 17||9 Feb 17||$2,525pp||
|24 Feb 17||9 Mar 17||$2,675pp||
|3 Mar 17||16 Mar 17||$2,695pp||
|10 Mar 17||23 Mar 17||$2,750pp||
|17 Mar 17||30 Mar 17||$2,750pp||
|24 Mar 17||6 Apr 17||$2,795pp||
|30 Mar 17||12 Apr 17||$3,025pp||
|1 Apr 17||14 Apr 17||$3,075pp||
|4 Apr 17||17 Apr 17||$3,075pp||
|6 Apr 17||19 Apr 17||$3,125pp||
|6 Apr 17||19 Apr 17||$3,125pp||
|8 Apr 17||21 Apr 17||$3,175pp||
These departures will be staying in Venice during the Carnival of Venice 2017.
These departures will be in Rome on Easter Sunday.
Special Rate Solo Rooming: These departures include 40-100% discount on our standard single supplement.
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $110.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $100 per person.
Airport Transfers: On arrival to Rome Fiumicino Airport transfers will operate at 9:30am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 7am and 9:30am.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above.
AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.
Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.
The currency in Italy is the Euro (€). While it’s a good idea to bring some euros for when you first arrive in Italy, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive in your destination. The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks in Italy. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling. It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.
While Italy is most famous for pizza and pasta, few travelers are aware of just how varied the country’s culinary offering actually are. In fact, each of the 20 regions has its own distinctive cuisine. Traditionally, lunch (pranzo) is the most substantial meal of the day. A full meal consists of antipasto (starter), a primo piatto (pasta, rice or soup), a secondo piatto (meat or fish) with a side, or contorno (vegetable or salad), then frutta (fresh fruit). Finish with espresso and maybe a limoncello or grappa. Wine is usually served with the meal, accompanied by mineral water. Tap water is safe to drink, but not always tasty. We recommend you buy bottled mineral water. ‘Acqua non potabile’ means the water is not safe to drink. Find out about some local specialties to try in Italy’s top destinations below.
Food in Florence is simple and humble, and relies on the fresh ingredients of the surrounding Tuscan countryside. Many of the local recipes have evolved from peasant dishes to international favorites. Bread is an important staple in Florentine cooking, and is featured in everything from antipasti (appetizers) such as bruschetta to traditional main dishes. Panzanella is a popular summer salad prepared with day old crusty bread and tomatoes. Papa al pomodoro is a delicious soup made with bread, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and herbs. You’ll also find a variety of dishes featuring white beans, including the hearty ribollita soup. But the flagship of Florentine cuisine remains the famous bistecca alla fiorentina (T-bone steak). For a sweet finish, meals are topped off with traditional cantuccini (almond cookies) and the local vin santo dessert wine.
A visit to Venice offers an opportunity to discover a variety of truly unique gastronomic traditions. Venetians have a long-standing tradition of eating cicchetti, small bites similar to Spanish tapas. You can enjoy a variety of these before lunch or dinner, paired with a glass of local wine at restaurants and bars around town. Other common dishes include polenta, risotto with peas, salted cod, sardines, and local bigoli pasta.
Roman cuisine is deeply rooted in the past. Despite the city’s imperial history, the food in Rome and the surrounding Lazio region is anything but refined. Humble pasta dishes such as carbonara, amatriciana, aglio e olio (garlic and olive oil) and cacio e peppe (pecorino cheese and pepper) are local favorites served in trattorias around town. Other foods to try in Rome include pizza, a variety of fritti (fritters) made with everything from salted cod to zucchini flours, stewed oxtail, suppli (rice and Bolognese sauce croquettes) and sharp pecorino cheese. For dessert, try crostata di ricotta (Italian cheesecake) or zeppole (donuts).
In Italy, the weather changes very quickly, with temperatures varying from morning to night. We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Keep in mind that your shoulders and knees should be covered while visiting religious sites. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.
At bars and restaurants, tipping is less common or generous as in the U.S. When dining out, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave an extra euro or two for your waiter.
At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director. Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit. A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.
Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.
You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions. All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers. In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group.
If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.
We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.
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